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Researchers Develop New Catalyst That Turns Carbon Dioxide from Cars into Natural Gas

Researchers have developed a new catalyst that can help turn carbon dioxide from car exhaust pipes and other sources into fuels like natural gas or propane. Several recent studies have shown some success in this conversion, but the latest approach from engineers at Stanford University in the US yields four times more ethane, propane and butane than existing methods that use similar processes.

While not a climate cure-all, the advance could significantly reduce the near-term impact on global warming, according to the study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.”One can imagine a carbon-neutral cycle that produces fuel from carbon dioxide and then burns it, creating new carbon dioxide that then gets turned back into fuel,” said Matteo Cargnello, an assistant professor at Stanford, who led the research.

Although the process is still just a lab-based prototype, the researchers expect it could be expanded enough to produce usable amounts of fuel. Next steps include trying to reduce harmful by-products from these reactions, such as the toxic pollutant carbon monoxide, the researchers noted.

Previous efforts to convert CO2 to fuel involved a two-step process. The first step reduces CO2 to carbon monoxide, then the second combines the CO with hydrogen to make hydrocarbon fuels. The simplest of these fuels is methane, but other fuels that can be produced include ethane, propane and butane.

Ethane is a close relative of natural gas and can be used industrially to make ethylene, a precursor of plastics. Propane is commonly used to heat homes and power gas grills. Butane is a common fuel in lighters and camp stoves.

Cargnello thought completing both steps in a single reaction would be much more efficient and set about creating a new catalyst that could simultaneously strip an oxygen molecule off CO2 and combine it with hydrogen.

Catalysts induce chemical reactions without being used up in the reaction themselves. The team succeeded by combining ruthenium and iron oxide nanoparticles into a catalyst. “This structure activates hydrocarbon formation from CO2. It improves the process start to finish,” Aitbekova said.

Source: Firstpost

Spain: Freight Transport Association Encourages Conversions to CNG

CETM-Madrid has signed a collaboration agreement with Ecotruck, a company specialised in the transformation of diesel vehicles to Natural Gas and LPG, to facilitate the adaptation of vehicles so that they can operate with compressed natural gas (CNG).

With this agreement, the association of the CETM in Madrid, seeks to expand the specialized services for its associates and help them comply with the new environmental policies that, in the Community of Madrid, have a special significance. In this way, they will be able to access certain advantages such as tax bonuses in the IVTM, discounts on SER rates, extended hours of access to Central Madrid or the possibility of driving during episodes of high pollution.

The president of CETM-Madrid, Cristóbal San Juan, and Miguel Angel Martín representing Ecotruck, have been responsible for sealing this alliance. The company, leader in its sector, uses the most advanced technology to adapt diesel vehicles to Natural Gas or LPG, from vans to trucks.

A process called DUAL-FUEL since once completed, the vehicle will simultaneously consume natural Gas or LPG in addition to diesel. Thanks to this, the vehicles will be able to obtain the environmental label ECO of the DGT, for Euro-6 engines, in addition, it entails significant fuel savings, around 20% in heavy vehicles.

Source: CETM-Madrid

Naturgy and Beconsa Inaugurate the First NGV Station in Salamanca

The mayor of Carbajosa de la Sagrada, Pedro Samuel Martín, the head of the Department of Saving and Energy Efficiency of the EREN, Roberto Getino , the director of Naturgy Group Projects ,Jaume Cases and the CEO of the transport company Beconsa, Paulino Benito, have inaugurated the first public natural gas filling station for vehicles in Salamanca, located on Vertical Third Street, 6, in Polígono el Montalvo III of Carbajosa de la Sagrada, Spain. 

The natural gas station, located in a location of great strategic value due to its important freight traffic, proximity to the city centre and connection with Portugal, has an LNG tank, which will allow supplying the entire fleet of the transport company BECONSA and the increasingly growing demand for heavy transport and vehicles.

For the implementation of this infrastructure, Naturgy has made an investment close to 800,000 euros. The project of this gas station is complemented by an exhibition area where some models of vehicular natural gas vehicles (NGV) are shown for sale in the market and information is provided to transform a vehicle to natural gas.

The opening ceremony was also supported by the general director of IVECO Spain and Portugal, Ruggero Mughini, a company that has a full range of natural gas industrial vehicles that includes everything from light, medium and heavy vehicles to passenger transport vehicles.

Source: Naturgy

Spanish Public Utility Company Committed to Sustainable Transport

LABYGEMA (Water and Waste Management Laboratory, as in its Spanish acronym) has incorporated vehicles with natural gas technology into its fleet as part of its commitment to sustainability and as a fundamental pillar of its business strategy. The vehicles will be used by technicians for the provision of services such as: waste management, water sampling and analysis, technical assistance and maintenance of drinking water and wastewater facilities.

The use of vehicles accounts for a large part of the carbon footprint produced by the company’s activity, so, after identifying improvements in its business strategy and its alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), LABYGEMA decided to bet on eco-mobility. The option for NGVs was taken based on the advantages of its use both from an environmental, energy and economic point of view.

SDG 11 “SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES” aims to achieve sustainable cities and communities, through the access of the entire population to adequate, affordable and safe housing, basic services and means of transport, especially for people in vulnerable situations. It also seeks to encourage the reduction of the environmental impact in the cities, green areas and safe and inclusive public spaces, a sustainable urban planning and an improvement of the conditions in the disadvantaged areas.

Companies are key actors to achieve these goals, introducing sustainable mobility criteria internally. One of the measures to be taken by companies is the use of fleet vehicles that are energetically efficient, run on clean fuels and are accessible to all people.

Source: LABYGEMA

UPS To Add More Than 6,000 Vehicles to Its Natural Gas Fleet

UPS announced plans to purchase more than 6,000 natural gas-powered trucks beginning in 2020 and running through 2022. This three-year commitment represents a USD 450 million investment in expanding the company’s alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle fleet as well as supporting infrastructure.

The new vehicles will be equipped with compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems provided under an exclusive agreement with Agility Fuel Solutions, a business of Hexagon Composites. The investment in CNG fuel systems expands UPS’s relationship with Agility Fuel Solutions and supports UPS’s fleet sustainability efforts. It will help reduce UPS’s carbon footprint and is expected to have a positive influence on national CNG market growth. The CNG fleet expansion also provides additional capacity for expanding the use of renewable natural gas (RNG).

“UPS continues to expand and improve our smart logistics network by implementing new technologies and creating a highly flexible, data-driven, and sustainable network,” said Juan Perez, chief information and engineering officer, UPS. “That is why we intend for 25 percent of our vehicles purchased in 2020 to run on alternative fuels.”

Vehicles equipped with CNG fuel systems can interchangeably use RNG and conventional natural gas. Produced from landfills, dairy farms and other bio sources, RNG yields up to a 90 percent reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional diesel. As of October 2019, UPS has agreed to purchase 230 million gallon equivalents of RNG over the next seven years, making the company the largest consumer of RNG in the transportation industry.

“We are proud to continue our collaboration with UPS, a front-runner in clean transportation,” says Seung Baik, president of Agility Fuel Solutions. “With our range of proven and reliable clean fuel technologies and aftermarket support capabilities, we will assist UPS in reaching its sustainability targets.”

Source: UPS

Gazprom Will Have 55% of Its Vehicle Fleet Converted to CNG by Year’s End

During a recent working visit to Nizhny Novgorod, it was noted that Gazprom is consistently working to expand the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel. The main goal at this stage is to shape and develop the local NGV markets that will be subsequently linked via NGV corridors on key federal highways. Between 2015 and 2018, Gazprom built 86 new refuelling units (state-of-the-art CNG stations and refuelling modules at the existing stations, as well as platforms for mobile refuelers). It is planned to complete the construction of 43 units in 2019.

At present, Russian automakers are successfully producing a wide range of natural gas-powered vehicles numbering more than 220 models, including passenger, heavy and specialized vehicles.

Gazprom is also converting its own vehicles to natural gas. From 2014 to the end of July 2019, the number of NGVs in the Gazprom Group’s vehicle fleet totalled 11,658 units, which accounts for more than 50% of its vehicles that can be converted to natural gas. This figure is expected to reach 55% by the end of 2019.

Examples of successful conversion of vehicles to natural gas in agricultural entities were also reviewed at the meeting. Special attention was paid to the federal and regional measures required to support and accelerate NGV market development in Russia.

“Natural gas is an effective tool for cutting costs in all sectors of the economy where transportation is involved, as is clearly demonstrated by the results of Gazprom’s work. We are actively converting our own vehicle fleet to natural gas. Since 2014, the Company has saved RUB 4.8 billion (USD 75 million) as a result of using natural gas instead of petroleum fuels, and pollutant emissions have been reduced by over 108,600 tons. It is apparent that the greater the importance of vehicles in the activities of a commercial or governmental unit, the more significant will be the economic and environmental effect from converting vehicles to natural gas,” said Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors.

Gazprom’s delegation visited the factory of the GAZ Group in Nizhny Novgorod at which, among other things, NGVs are manufactured. Other places visited by the delegation included a taxi company that uses CNG cars and an enterprise that manufactures CNG cylinders for motor vehicles and mobile refuellers.

Source: Gazprom

CNG Stations RFP Issued by Kansas City RCC

Kansas City Regional Clean Cities, a program of Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC), has issued an RFP for the Installation of compressed natural gas (CNG) Fuelling Stations in Kansas/Missouri. The deadline for submitting proposals to Metropolitan Energy Center is October 31, 2019.

The objectives of this RFP is to fund 1-3 compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelling stations, which would substantially increase access to CNG fuelling on major travel corridors; and to leverage business and community relationships enjoyed by public agencies; in order to multiply awareness of, and adoption of, alternative fuels by generating shared fuelling agreements where possible.

These facilities are intended as capable of providing CNG fuelling to both light-duty private vehicles and to all classes of freight trucks up to and including Class 8 tractors. Funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE), that is managed through a grant to Metropolitan Energy Centre (MEC), (the “Grant”), will provide up to 45% of total costs toward the purchase of station equipment and installation by the successful applicant.

For details of the RFP visit metroenergy.org/afv-17-rfp.

Proposals must submitted by e-mail to Jeff Windsor, Contract Specialist, Metropolitan Energy Center, 31 W. 31st Street, Kansas City, MO 64108; jeff@metroenergy.org with the proposal attached; no hard copy will be accepted.

Note that the length of proposals is limited to 20 pages. Maps, etc. will not count towards the limit.

The anticipated time for selection of the winning Applicant(s) will be mid-November; and all fuelling station projects shall be completed on or before September 30, 2020.

Source: Metropolitan Energy Center

A CNG Hybrid from Switzerland

With climate change, energy providers such as the Holdigaz Group are facing challenging times. Therefore Holdigaz, a French compressed natural gas (CNG) and biogas supply company founded in 2005, opens up further business fields. The company is supporting the development of a particularly light CNG hybrid car by taking a 36% stake in Softcar SA in Freiburg . Holdigaz CEO Philippe Petitpierre presented a first model of this vehicle on a scale of 1:1 at the Annual General Meeting.

Philippe Petitpierre explains, “I expect the car to go into mass production by 2020.” The Holdigaz CEO is convinced that vehicles that have a particularly low carbon footprint fit very well into a company that is in the forefront Wants to profile sustainability. Holdigaz brings its experience and expertise in CNG/biogas development to the ultralight softcar to turn the former electric vehicle into a CNG hybrid vehicle. “We got Softcar to use our energy, CNG or biogas, to improve the vehicle’s performance,” explains Philippe Petitpierre. The production version will one day reach top speeds between 135 and 140 km/h.

According to the Holdigaz CEO, the soft car should also have a range of 700 kilometres. The drive is provided by a hybrid drive in which an electric and a small internal combustion engine clamp together. From the CNG or biogas carried in two tanks on board, the electricity required for the battery and the electric motor is produced. The uniqueness is not only the benefits of the car, but also the bodywork. It is 100% recyclable and is made from biopolymers obtained from food waste. The compact vehicle with four to five seats also has a modular design so that it can be used for private and freight transport.

Holdigaz has so far supported the development of softcar with 5 million francs. Six patents were registered for the vehicle. “A Renault Zoë consists of 40,000 different parts. A softcar, on the other hand, only consists of 1800 parts, which makes it much easier to mount the vehicle”, adds Petitpierre. The next step will be to build a factory in western Switzerland within the next six to eight months, when the ultra-light CNG hybrid cars will run off the production line. 

Source: CNG-Mobility Switzerland

CNG Market Projected to Reach $36 Million by 2023

Compressed natural gas (CNG) has gained popularity in the market and is projected to reach $36,035 million by 2023 growing at a CAGR of 14.1% from 2017 to 2023. Its eco-friendly nature, better performance advantages, and reduced maintained cost of the engine, according to a report by Allied Market Research, is making CNG to skyrocket.

At present, the market is driven by low-cost of CNG with growth in energy requirement across the world. Continuous exploration for non-conventional sources of energy and growth of the lager shale gas market also fuel the market, says the report.

Furthermore, stringent government regulations on account of environmental concern and increase in subsidy among various regions such as Asia-Pacific and LAMEA has advanced the demand for CNG in the automotive fuel market, points out Allied Market Research. However, the initial investment cost is too high and limited number of fuel stations restrain the growth of the market.

The light duty vehicles in end user has the highest growth rate in terms of value due to the development of better and affordable storage tanks for CNG in light duty vehicles, according to the research.

Asia-Pacific is the largest consumer of compressed natural gas as transit buses and delivery & refuse truck fleets prefer CNG over fossil fuel. In addition, the Asia-Pacific and Europe region collectively accounted for approximately three-fourths of the global market share by revenue in 2016. Emerging economies such as China, India, Pakistan, and Argentina are estimated to dominate the market for the coming years, concludes the report.

Source: Petrol Plaza

Kansas Gas Service Increases Rebate for CNG Vehicles

Kansas Gas Service, a division of ONE Gas, Inc., announced it is increasing the rebate amount available to customers who participate in their compressed natural gas (CNG) Vehicle Rebate program.

Effective September 1, the natural gas distribution company’s customers can now receive a $3,000 rebate for the cost of converting or purchasing a dedicated or bi-fuel natural gas vehicle. This is an increase of $2,000 from the previous rebate amount.

Kansas Gas Service’s program is supported through a limited fund provided in partnership with the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition.

Rebates must be applied for within 90 days of vehicle purchase. For a rebate application and complete program terms and conditions, visit www.kansasgasservice.com.  

Source: Kansas Gas Service